Why Iron & Calcium?
Iron & Calcium are two very important minerals needed for the proper functioning of a human body. No man on this planet can do without these two for a long time healthily. Iron is the reason behind the supply of oxygen from the lungs to the entire body.
Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, the protein present in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.
On the other hand, calcium is the support of our skeletal structure. Calcium is responsible for strong teeth and bones along with the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. It also helps in proper clotting of the blood. Deficiency of calcium can make room for colon cancer but an abundance of calcium in the human body can lead to stones in the kidney. Balance is the key.
An adult human body requires an intake of 18 mg iron daily while for children the number goes down to 10 mg. While the daily allowance for calcium is 1000 mg – 1200 mg.
Symptoms of Iron & Calcium Deficiency
- Fatigue, pale face, short breath, headache, and faster heartbeats are a few symptoms of iron deficiency.
- Muscle cramps, dry skin, brittle nails, tooth decay, late puberty, PMS symptoms, and insomnia are a couple of symptoms of calcium deficiency.
Diseases Caused by Calcium Deficiency
Calcium deficiency can cause some major health issues. A few of which are –
- Muscle problems like muscle cramps, pain and also severe numbness in the muscles.
- Lethargy, fatigue and brain fog
- Osteopenia and osteoporosis
- Painful premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Dental problems such as weak roots, brittle teeth & irritated gums
Diseases Caused by Iron Deficiency
- Decreased memory, impaired learning & concentration
- Impaired immune system
- Decreased aerobic performance
- Decreased work productivity
- Increased risk of low birth weight, prematurity, and maternal morbidity during pregnancy
- Infant motor and mental function delay
- Increased risk of transfusion
Fruits as Sources of Iron & Calcium
One can always take supplements for different deficiencies in their body but there’s nothing like the natural sources of it. The supplements have the artificially processed nutrients and it is always advisable to take natural forms of them. Also, it is easier for the body to absorb the nutrients and minerals from fruits and vegetables than from artificial supplements. A very little part of the supplements is actually absorbed by the body. Fruits are a great source of all the nutrients and minerals that our body needs. A few that contains high amounts of iron & calcium are mentioned below for all those who have their deficiency to regularly munch on and do your body favour it is asking for.
Sun-dried tomatoes are one of the richest fruits when it comes to the presence of iron. They contain 9.1 mg of iron for every 100 grams of it, which is half of the daily requirement. Also, as commonly known, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which helps in the absorption of iron quickly and effectively.
Dried apricots are not just delicious to eat but they are also very healthy for the body. They are rich in both iron as well as calcium. Also, they are rich in anti-oxidants which are always beneficial for the human body. 100 grams of dried apricots can contain more than 50 percent of our daily iron requirements.
Raisins are the sun-dried form of grapes. They are also rich in both iron and calcium. Half a cup of raisins is believed to contain 1.6 mg of iron. The calcium content in raisins is considered to be around 50 mg per 100 grams. Raisins can be used in various ways and included in the diet without even consciously doing it. They are a part of many desserts and a few vegetables as well. They can also be eaten in times of those hunger pangs.
This is not a very common fruit in India but is found in abundance in Japan. Whenever you get your hand on this fruit, you must because it is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C and iron are a great combination together because the vitamin helps in quick and easy absorption of iron by the body.
Mulberries – black, white, red or any other which you are aware of are good both in taste and its health benefits. Mulberries contain high amounts of anti-oxidants that help flush out the toxins of the body. These are also rich in iron as well as calcium. Mulberries are known to contain 1.8 mg of iron per 100 grams. Mulberries also boost the immune system.
Dates are one of the best fruits to munch on because they both very delicious and highly recommended for the body with all its health benefits. These are extremely rich in both calcium and iron. Dates are highly nourishing, low in fats and cholesterol-free. 250 grams of dates contain 3mg of iron.
Currants are both dried and fresh. Fresh currants are though less available, but worth grabbing whenever you manage to get your hands on. These are red, white and black, also considered as a small raisin. Currants are rich in both calcium as well as iron. Per hundred grams of currant contains up to 1 mg of iron and 86 mg of calcium.
A prune is a dried plum. They are a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and considered to top the list anti-oxidant rich fruits. Prunes have high values of iron and calcium present in them and are known for several health benefits like improved vision. The calcium content on 100 grams of prunes is 43 mg whilst the iron content is 0.9 mg.
Pomegranates have always been very famous for them being rich in iron. It is, in fact, the most suggested fruit for iron deficiency. But in reality, they do not contain very high levels of iron. 100 grams of pomegranate seeds contain about 0.3 mg of iron and 10 mg of calcium.
Delicately sweet and sour tamarinds are a rich source of calcium and phosphorous. They also contain a large number of anti-oxidants. The calcium pulp contains 74 mg of calcium per 100 grams of it. It is widely used in various cuisines all over the world and can be easily found anywhere.
Figs are found in abundance almost everywhere in both dried and fresh forms. They are very rich in calcium. One piece of dried fig contains 13 mg of calcium and a cup of it can contain up to 241 mg calcium, which is almost 25% of daily requirement.
Pineapples contain lot sugar so should be avoided by people suffering from diabetes. They contain about 20 mg of calcium per 100 grams of it apart from all the anti-oxidants present in it.
It will not be wrong to say that the consequences of these deficiencies can be horrifying. So, it’s very important to include the fruits rich in iron and calcium in our dietary habits and keep a check on our nutritional intake. Also, it’s very important to read what the body says. Early signs of such deficiencies should not be ignored and regular body checkups should be done regularly to find out if the body needs anything.
Not just this, inculcating fruits and healthy food items in our routine are very important. One must never rely on supplements and artificial ways of nutritional intake as they can have side effects and are also short-lived. A calcium supplement when taken provides the body with only calcium, but when tamarinds are consumed for calcium intake, it also helps the body in other ways because of the anti-oxidants and rich amounts of phosphorous present in them. Also, eating fruits and other healthy foods for the nutritional intake helps in relieving of hunger and hence decreasing room for unhealthy food. They are the best munching options that are healthy, tasty and also help in adding nutritional value to our body.
We don’t need to wait for deficiency symptoms to begin eating the above-mentioned fruits. Just adding them to our diet plans will save us from any iron and calcium deficiency in future and help us keep ourselves healthy and fit. It is rightly said that what we eat on the inside is reflected on the outside. Hence it’s essential to eat well to be able to look good.